Sunday, August 24, 2014

Things That Matter by Charles Krauthammer

Things That Matter by Charles Krauthammer is a well-written, thought-provoking book
Although I love to read fiction, especially mysteries, that doesn't mean I don't like to read other things. I've noticed that others seem to think that people can only read one type of book, but I would think that would be a boring and bland diet. I just finished one of those non-mysteries today: Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics by Charles Krauthammer. Krauthammer writes a weekly column for the Washington Post, and he's a frequent commentator on Fox News. I've seen him a few times with Bill O'Reilly. Things That Matter is a collection of short essays that Krauthammer has written over the past thirty years for the Post and Time.

I learned some things about Krauthammer that I didn't know before I read the book are that Krauthammer was paralyzed in swimming accident when he started medical student, that he was a practicing psychiatrist, and that he used to be a Democrat and a speech writer for then vice president Walter Mondale! I have to admit that I was struck because Krauthammer is the voice of conservatism. I know that I've often thought that liberalism is for the young and naive, because they have such a rose-colored vision of what the world could be. As you age, at least, as I aged, I found that my views became much more conservative. I think that with age comes wisdom and a greater understanding of how the world works. Basically, as I started to make money, I wanted to keep my money. Also, I learned that issues may not always be as black and white as I originally thought.

Krauthammer's essays are very well written and thought provoking. He broke the books into sections:
  • Personal
  • Political
  • Historical
In those essays, he talked about a wide variety of topics, contemporary and long past. Krauthammer's parents were Orthodox Jews, and he went to a Hebrew Day School, and I think that makes his voice even more poignant as he mentions the Jewish/Israeli situation in the world. Although Krauthammer is a passionate about his views, he also writes with a sane, calm voice. I think it would be sad if you passed up Things That Matter. I know that I read works by both liberals and conservatives because I want to get the full picture. I know that personal bias and viewpoints color a writer's work, sometimes even unintentionally. I found myself as I finished the book, admiring Krauthammer, and having a more enlightened view on some of the topics he mentions. Give his essays a try. Just read a few, and I think before you know it, you'll be reading the whole book.

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